Tuesday, September 04, 2007

USB safely remove hardware

When you plug a USB device, a icon appears in the system tray. This is the safely remove hardware icon. I used to wonder what is it needed for. May be the OS is writing some journal information when i am just performing the read. I would not want to try to plug the disk when some copying of files is happening to the USB disk.

I got into the properties of the device accidentally and saw it. You can get here by double clicking on the safely remove hardware icon, select the device, click properties, go to policies tab. The image explains it all. I guess all devices should be set to "optimize for quick removal" by default to enable anytime plugging out.

Now i know that i run zero risk of losing data when i pull out my USB disk from the computer. Still i would suggest, if you can safely remove it, do it. If not, you know that you don't run a risk of losing data.

Also sometimes when you try to safely remove hardware, there is an error saying that "there is some process still using the device or it is busy" or something like that. If you do have anything using it, close it. If you don't, kill the explorer.exe process and you should be able to remove the device safely.

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